So, the house thing.
We were hoping to buy a house using Federal Home Assistance and get a lower down payment. We found a great place, but it has it's warts. We offered $110k initially. That was quickly revised down to $106k on initial negotiation.
We waited, and then we hit a snag. The house is supposed to be a "short sale". This means the seller walks away with nothing, no profit, but no loss. The seller must prove financial hardship to make this work. They must be delinquent on payments.
They payed the month after our initial offer.